Big Red Fundraiser at Charlie Palmer’s Benefits North Texas Food Bank
Location: Charlie Palmer at The Joule
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by Andrew Chalk
The timing could not have been better. At the end of the week area food pantries reported their donations were down, Charlie Palmer's at The Joule held a major wine and food fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank to help correct that situation. The Big Red, was a two-night event. Friday was the opening salvo, Taste of The Big Red, a walk around tasting of wines from 20 Texas wineries and food by an A-list of Dallas restaurants: York Street, Fearing's, Craft, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, Abacus, Stephan Pyles, Bonnell's, Salum, Scardello Cheese, and Top Chef Brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. Besides real chefs, there was live music by Somebody's Darling, Boys Named Sue, and Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos. BTW: Check out Texas-based Somebody's Darling. I'll swear Amber Farris, the lead singer, is Janice Joplin reincarnated.
Others can comment on the food, which I thought was uniformly excellent. The lines to get it were short as well. I shall treat this as a chance to stick a thermometer down the larynx of the Texas wine industry. Here, with a focus on truth rather than vacillation, is my take on the wines, in the order tasted
2008 McPherson Cellars Sangiovese. The fateful words "For Sale In Texas Only" adorn the label. That is a bad sign. Sourced from Texas (65%) and New Mexico (35%). Color: Thin ruby red. Nose: rubber. Taste: Some ill-defined varietal. A simple, ordinary wine.
2009 Texas Hills Vineyard Toro de Texas, Tempranillo, Newsom Vineyard High Planes AVA . I have never had their wines before but this Tempranillo, made from grapes from the most famous vineyard in Texas, is a solid example. Color: Young wine purplish red. Nose: Characteristic Tempranillo red fruit (raspberry). Some oak in the nose. Soft tannins and forward fruit in the mouth. Such a tiny winery may not have retail distribution here, but you can buy online at their web site. Recommended.
2007 Inwood Estates, Cornelius, Tempranillo, High Planes AVA. The second bottle was the charm here (the first one was oxidized). It stands in sharp contrast to the preceding wine as a dark fruit example of Tempranillo. Very tight and closed. A complex wine that will develop with time.
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